Written by: Rev. Nathan Hill
Have you ever found that sweet spot in life where everything seems to make sense and everything exists in perfect balance? You know, the days when the laundry and dishes are all done, work is caught up, your bank account is flowing in abundance, the sun is shining, you love your job, and there are no conflicts on the horizon—those days. I call those seasons the sweet spot. Unfortunately, however, sweet spots have a shelf life, often shorter than we had hoped for. Change is the enemy of the sweet spot, and change happens.
I just resumed my reading through the books of 1 & 2 Kings when my family returned home from our summer vacation. As I was reading about Solomon planning and building Israel’s temple I was thinking about his sweet spot, and the completion of this temple was probably just that. I also found myself chuckling at a statement that Solomon made to God when he dedicated the temple: “I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever” (1 Kings 8:12). The joke here is that God would actually not dwell in that temple forever, nor would he dwell in any temple made of wood and bricks forever. Later OT prophets remind us that God’s presence, his Spirit, will be placed within each of us, making us the temple of God. We see this fulfilled in the NT. However, in Solomon’s sweet spot he was caught up with the excitement and passion of the moment and declared to God that he had created a spot that was so amazing that God would never want a change of scenery…ever. Solomon could not imagine changing anything about the moment he was living in.
When we find ourselves in life’s sweet spots we can often pledge, like Solomon, that we will remain there forever, isolated from change. We will maintain the same diet, the same devotional patterns, the same financial management strategy, the same job, live in the same neighborhood, hang out with the same friends—and then change happens. Oh, we can resist and even hold back some change, but at what personal cost? Life without movement, change, and growth is life that is regressing or at the very best…stagnant. This is a far cry from the abundant life that we are promised in the Scriptures (John 10:10). You see, the view from our sweet spot might be one of absolute contentment, but it is not always connected to reality.
Solomon thought that God wanted to dwell in a structure forever. How much less would that have been for Christians today, who experience the Spirit of God within us every single day. Had Solomon insisted that God interact with humanity in that same way forever (as if he could restrain God), we would be lesser for it. What then does this say about us and our sweet spots? If we hold onto anything too tightly—our finances, our kids, our home, our jobs, our lives—and resist the movement that is all around us, what will this forecast for our future? Will we be moved into greater places, doing greater God-empowered things, or will we remain in our sweet spot never knowing what more life and God could offer?
The sweet spot is to be enjoyed like a salted caramel latte from Starbucks. However, when it is gone, it is time to get up out of the comfy chair, give someone else a turn, and move out into the real world. Once you do this you will encounter…well, God knows what. And you will be all the better for it.